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20 Ways for Designers to Become Their Own Rainmaker

20 Ways for Designers to Become Their Own Rainmaker

Here are 20 ways designers can market themselves. Online portfolios and personal Websites let designers establish their Web presence. Social networking tools invite peer endorsements. Advertising, blogs and exhibitions create familiarity. But the most effective marketing package involves winning a design award competition, where the benefits may combine a wide range of marketing and publicity supports.

Your commercial success as a designer is assured – when you become your own rainmaker. Bringing in the clients is essential to sustaining your business and personal freedom. Yet it is tempting to fall back on these 10 excuses for not marketing your own talent). Get over it. In this article, we outline 20 ways to promote your design talent. Some tools will be more effective than others because they combine multiple marketing approaches.
To market yourself is to create trust among potential clients that your designs are highly valuable. These 20 approaches work by creating trust in three ways. For foundation, they make your presence felt - they make your profile and portfolio easily accessible to the world. On a longitudinal dimension, they build familiarity with your potential clients by frequently placing your work in front of them. On a latitudinal dimension, they are good at attracting multiple peer endorsements.
First, build your online portfolio. Select only your best designs, aimed carefully at your target customers. Choose the Web platform that gives you clear presentation and intuitive interface. , , and are online communities for artists to promote themselves. They let you post and organize designs into extensive portfolios under helpful classifications - from 3D modeling to industrial design. Members may also be able to message, search, comment, post resumes and sell online. Specialized portfolio sites include , and for photographers, and and for architects. Posting contact details increases credibility and helps customers contact you.
20 Ways for Designers to Become Their Own Rainmaker
Create your personal Website. Consider incorporating your name into the URL. This communicates authority, confidence and commitment. This is not meant to replace online portfolios, which have a community advantage. Avoid fancy technologies like flash. HTML5, mobile standards and Web interface convention will help users navigate quickly. Try cloud-based platforms, such as, , and because hosting your own content can become a maintenance chore. Drive the narrative towards your business process. For example, explain how your wedding photography service works. Here are 25 examples of photographer Websites: .
Write or video your own blog and the occasional guest blog articles. Blogs are chronological, flexible and easily updated. You can shamelessly promote yourself. Blogs can serve up whimsical thoughts, tips, press releases, case studies, behind-the-scene processes, and event images. Write something that intrigues the readers. Frequent updates familiarize your audience with your brand. Here are examples of successful blogs ( ) and are established platforms. Guest blogging allows you to share in the authority and audience of an established publisher. Good contents and refreshing angles are always highly sought after. What is routine, specialized, knowledge to you can be fresh perspective for another blogger with massive influence.
Write on social blogs – which are platforms for long-form articles. They are easily shared among social networks for non-designers. Facebook’s Notes ( ), LinkedIn’s Pulse ( ), and are leading examples. Readers are actively driven to your articles from social connections and searches through the social networks. Social statistics such as Likes, Follows, Shares, Upvotes and comments will validate your authority among designers. Learn to engage your readers ( )
The fifth approach: List your professional profile in a designer directory. Other than online portfolio sites mentioned above, there are other specialized designer directories. Their focus may not be to upload an entire portfolio, but provide detailed profile pages including your credential, contacts, and images. They provide crucial links back to your full portfolio, Website, blog, and social network pages. Examples are Core 77 magazine’s which lists over 5000 agencies, as well as and for architects.
20 Ways for Designers to Become Their Own Rainmaker
Helping out with Q&A in online forums is yet another way to advertise your expertise. ( ), ( ) are general forums with design subcategories with ad hoc questions. DeviantArt ( ) has a more specialized forums. Even the StackExchange cluster includes a minor Q&A group for graphic designs ( ) You highlight your specialty by choosing and controlling the questions you answer.
Online courses or tutorials are your long-lasting and formal showcase as an expert sharer. Write about topics that you love and are helpful to other designers. You are free to include text, images and videos. Course platforms are rapidly evolving; many allow you to create free-to-study courses. DeviantArt has an entire class of cool-looking, one-page, tutorials ( ). The following platforms let you create more structured courses: , or OpenLearning ( ).
Build a professional profile page on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. These are broad communities of non-designers. The format allows for trivial but frequent updates, which familiarize followers with your progress. Your updates are trusted as the original source, and easily shared. The audience is distinct from your blog, portfolio and Website, yet social network pages provide links back to your personal sites. Here are examples of how designers have promoted themselves successfully through Instagram ( ).
Join an association to get in touch with key players, the latest trend, events and to share experience. Participation in a professional association lends prestige to your status. Some association Websites display a gallery of member designs. is an umbrella association for designers, as is for European architects. Local and country groups abound, such as, or industrial designers in America, for interior designers in Washington state, US, for registered graphic designers in Canada, while is Australian Institute of Professional Photographers.
20 Ways for Designers to Become Their Own Rainmaker
Our 10th suggestion: Follow and engage design gurus, but conduct yourself in good form. Celebrity designers may be looking for unique skills to refer to design circles in a way that add value. With your portfolio, profile and social network properly set up, you would be in a position to follow a design leader, stay near her circle, and make comments or contribution in good style, making yourself part of the group’s asset.
Here are two related but distinct approaches: Network horizontally with designers of different specialties; network vertically with wholesalers. Designers often enlist other categories of designers to complete complex jobs. Architects may need to work with interior designers, who in turn see the need for photographers. Industrial designers will require packaging and digital designers. Network vertically with wholesaler or suppliers, such as framers, buyers for hotel arts and landscaping contractors. Get invited to their events and to advice their members. If you design game art or animal-themed photography, join a game convention or animal lover groups.
There are two ways to do limited free work and get paid in reputation. Like all businesses, you could use free gifts in lieu of marketing expenses. For example, give away a small selection of your digital design as wallpapers, or photographs, such as at and with links back to your Websites. Voluntary work on charity projects can open doors to new experience, connection and referrals. You may get more creative freedom and the opportunity to diversify your portfolio. They are social proof of your community standing. Examples are neighbourhood renewal or donating a work for charity auction.
Our 15th suggestion: Redesign of existing art operates like fan fiction or game “mods”. Even an unauthorized redesign lets you showcase your fresh perspective, while connecting you to a famous product and existing audience. Your work will be easier to be understood, get noticed and shared. In fact, redesign is the original idea behind The practice inspires many artists, fan fiction writers and game modders ( ). These redesign examples involve famous products, packaging, logos or Websites: .
20 Ways for Designers to Become Their Own Rainmaker
How can you promote yourself without a catchy resume? Be creative with a point, but be professional. Imaginative or infographic resumes could work well under some circumstances (examples: ). But the staple is still a traditional, list-formatted, resume. This format allows for quick browsing, searching and storing into HTML text database, such as on, directories, competition award profile page, your own Website and blog.
Send press releases to magazines, trade publications, news outlets and blogs about your design milestones and events. Press releases are a time-proven communication channel. The problem is they are too numerous; you need to stand out. To ensure editors pick your press releases, make sure they are newsworthy, clearly written, include lots of personal quotes and are helpful to the target audience. Write in a way that the editor can simply pluck it to reuse as a news report.
Advertise your design service, Website or exhibition via Google or Facebook ads. Today’s Web-based advertising platforms offer a wide spectrum of channels to let you choose how hard you want to sell. The soft-sell ads could cost less when you are not competing for popular keywords. Advertise your free wallpapers, photos, tutorials, where you ensure links back to your portfolio, profile, online shops, Website, blog, profile, press releases and awards you have won.
Enter exhibitions within your design classification. Join group or juried exhibitions. Check out your local artist cooperative groups, local government cultural events or your association’s exhibitions. Gradually move toward smaller group or solo exhibitions. Exhibitions are excellent opportunities to network with other designers. They are newsworthy events to trigger press releases that talk about the latest trends, ideas and your designs.
20 Ways for Designers to Become Their Own Rainmaker
Going beyond exhibitions, you should enter a leading design award competition ( ). Winning a prestigious award will significantly raise your designer profile. Modern awards have packaged together many of the above tools to help you brand and market your accomplishment. The preeminent A’Design Award ( ) offers a full range of benefits ( ). In one fell swoop, it supports the award winners with a personal Web profile with resume, press releases, physical exhibition, online gallery, online and printed yearbook, ads, business networking and more. You should still retain a full portfolio platform and personal Website. But A’Design Award has synthesized the ultimate marketing support system, wrapped around your design achievements.

This article was added on Friday, 7th of October, 2016 at 06.29 am by author Jason Durio Tags: design marketing, how to promote designer, designer portfolio, designer award, designer marketing tool, designer resume, designer network, designer community. Read our copyright policy here.




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